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My Library


As many of you know I have been in the hobby of swordsmanship for some time, and I have a few books that I think might be reasonable primers or references for those looking for more information on the real-world techniques behind what we do.

Here are the books I'm willing to lend out - if you want to borrow one, please either post in the thread or DM/Facebook me and I'll bring it to practice with me.

Yagyu Munenori - The Sword and the Mind - maxims about swordsmanship, and a few illustrations of invaluable techniques for winning real-world swordfights. Munenori was the sword instructor to the Shogun, and the Yagyu family school one of the most famous in Japan.

Kenji Tokitsu - Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings - A biography of perhaps the greatest swordsman Japan ever produced. Musashi's "Book of Five Rings" is included here in translation. The Book of Five Rings is considered the #1 "start here" text for those studying historical Japanese swordsmanship.

Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere - Obviously less important for what we do most of the time, but the various weapon disarms and traps that I have taught have a common root with the throws and immobilizations taught in Aikido. Understanding how those work can help your choreography look more legitimate. Also, the book is fairly well-illustrated for those of you who are artists looking for posture references.

The Book of the Sword - This one I list more out of completeness than recommendation. It has a fairly good historiography of swords and swordsmanship as practiced in Europe from the earliest periods of recorded history. The illustrations of weapons are a treasurehouse for any artists who want to know what real swords really looked like back in the period. Regrettably, some of the authors statements regarding anthropology reflect the biases common to his time and cannot be condoned today.

Darrel Craig - The Heart of Kendo - "Max" Craig was one of the first American kendoka to really study seriously in the post WW2 era. He comes off as a bit credulous at times, taking some of his master's stories perhaps more seriously than they were meant, but his heart is obviously one that loves the art and science of swordsmanship, so the effect is more endearing than irritating. 

Stunt Lightsaber Combat for Beginners - I cannot recommend this book except as a joke, or perhaps for illustration reference. The text is an attempt to update Fiore's "Flower of Battle" to the lightsaber, but as Fiore's art was built for a MUCH heavier weapon, the effect is a bit like fencing with a feather duster. He wrote a second book for Intermediates, but I haven't yet picked that one up yet.

I have a few others in PDF/eBook format as well, which would be trickier to lend but I'll work on figuring out that question as I get time.

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